The Chough Hotel, Most Haunted (S5, E1) REVIEW

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The Chough Hotel in Somerset has a dark past, the perfect place for an investigation by the Most Haunted crew, writes JOANNA HAGUE

The Chough Hotel, Most Haunted (S5, E1) REVIEW

Episode Title: The Chough Hotel
Location: Chard, Somerset
Series: Episode Number: 1
Originally broadcast: 14 September 2004

Review of The Chough Hotel, Most Haunted

The Chough Hotel in Chard, Somerset, is one of the most haunted pubs in Britain, filled with poltergeist activity and apparitions. Built in the 16th century and named after a bird, the hotel has survived a fire and has more than 400 years of tales to tell. 

Richard Felix talks about some of the more memorable moments for the building, including the Battle of Sedgemore in 1685, the reign of Judge Jefferies, 12 local men who were tried and hanged at the crossroads outside. The building has also been home to a school and a brothel. 

Up in the children’s room, the landlord speaks about his daughter playing an imaginary friend. They believe it is a girl called Elizabeth, who in 1845, poisoned herself as she did not want to be a prostitute like her mother and sister. Dark shapes have also been seen in the room, along with a man who has been seen in the door of the office. 

In the attic, it is believed that a man hanged himself, his apparition has been seen up there. Lightbulbs have exploded and objects move around on their own. 

Down in the bar, males have been seen both at the bar and at the pool table. There is even a spirit couple, whose apparitions have been seen sitting at one of the tables. Footsteps can be heard and apparitions have been seen in the doorway. 

Dr David Bull joins the investigation for the first time, he normally hosts Most Haunted Live events and talks about what he is expecting from the investigation. He also makes light of the fact that normally, he is sat in front of a warm fireplace when the investigations take place. 

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Derek Acorah joins the team, and they begin their walk around with him. Starting off in the bar area, Derek picks up on the energy of a man who he describes as a prankster, he moves things about in the area but there is no malice to him.

Over by the fireplace, Derek feels the presence of another man, who he names as George Jefferies. He says that this spirit deals out the justice, he consults with his spirit guide Sam and says that he would put people to death, information pops up on the screen confirming this. 

As they continue through the bar, Derek shouts out the name Winifred, at the same time as this is happening footsteps can be heard upstairs, the landlord confirms that no one is up there. Derek feels that Winifred is associated with witchcraft and that an evil intent in the building comes from higher levels.

Derek says that Sam is communicating that he should ask about the coffin, this puzzles Yvette and the team, the landlord then says that there was a coffin found in the fireplace, which is now upstairs, but it can be confirmed that he has not told anyone about the coffin. They bring the coffin down and Derek confirms that it is the witch’s familiar inside.

Derek then picks up on George again and comments how cold it has become; David also confirms that the temperature has dropped. Derek picks up on the energy of what he is describing as a headstone. Yvette confirms that part of the bricks around the fireplace there is a headstone and even though it is worn, letters can be made out, the name on the stone starts with a W and Derek says this is Winifred’s headstone. 

David, Richard and Yvette visit the crossroads with psychic Ian Lawman, who thinks that a tree just past the crossroads is where the hangings took place and people would watch from the crossroads. David is quite sceptical and questions Ian about some of the history of this area. 

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Back inside the hotel, Ian and David start in the first-floor lounge. Ian picks up on a male who he feels would be a woodworker, he feels this person might have lost limbs. The name he is given for this person is John. Moving into the child’s bedroom, he feels that there is a male spirit who is very strict and angry. He picks up on a child who has a disability and feels that the child died of suffocation. 

Down in the bar area, Ian picks up on the surname Gillingham, information pops up on the screen saying that John Gillingham 1839-1924 was a very wealthy man, making artificial limbs. Ian says that he was a nice man, who would help anyone but has a dark side particularly if they couldn’t pay him back.

Up in the attic in night vision, Yvette is very on edge as are the rest of the team. Derek informs the team that there are a group of spirits that are in the attic watching them. He senses more female energy than male. He also picks up on the rituals that would have taken place. David is convinced that while Derek has been talking, he can see someone behind him.

Derek says he knows the individuals are able to do something, so he begins calling out. While everything is quiet a freeze makes a noise making everyone jump, the team are then informed that the power is not connected so there is no logical reason for it to make the noise. 

Downstairs in the children’s bedroom, Derek picks up on children’s spirits that communicate with the landlords’ children. He also picks up on a child with a disability, which he is then informed that Ian picked up on the same thing earlier and neither have spoken to the other. He then goes on to say that the child is struggling to breathe and that is how they passed. 

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Moving on Derek asks the landlord if he has trouble with the electrics in the building, he says that the spirits use the energy, and the electrics will suddenly blow. Landlord confirms this and says that even the supplier cannot find a reason for this. Derek then goes on to say that the spirits are just waiting to see what happens with the team and they are wanting them to be split up. 

Ian picks up on a wealthy gentleman who he describes as wearing a top hat who calls in for a quick drink. Yvette’s walkie talkie goes off as the team are hearing movement and want to confirm if it is them, which she says that it isn’t. As this is happening, Derek becomes overwhelmed and appears to be in the first part of a possession, Derek is asking Sam to remove it from him as Yvette is calling for him to come forward. 

Back up in the attic, Derek calls out for the spirits but quickly becomes distressed when he says they are blocking his ears. Banging and footsteps can be heard while in the attic, the team think it is coming from the room below, so they move back to the children’s room. 

David Bull decides to go it alone in the attic. He quickly becomes paranoid that he is been watched as he sees a figure out of the corner of his eye. He says that the room has a weird feeling to it, and he does not like it very much. After about 10 minutes of been alone up there, David bails and heads down to the rest of the team. 

Tell us your views of this Most Haunted episode, The Chough Hotel, in the comments section below!

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